Gifts and Hospitality Policy
Appendix 5: Gifts and Hospitality Policy
The exchange or provision of modest gifts and hospitality may foster goodwill in business relationships. However, when giving or receiving such gifts and hospitality, we must ensure that doing so cannot be perceived as a bribe or does not create a conflict of interest. This means that any gift or hospitality must be strictly limited in value and frequency and kept within customary business practices and all applicable laws. VMS´s gifts and hospitality policy must not to be intentionally circumvented.
Scope of the gifts and hospitality policy
The phrase “gifts and hospitality” means anything of actual or perceived value (such as presents, discounts, cash, cash equivalents, including vouchers or gift cards, travel, restaurants, hotels, etc.) from or to VMS employees, or their family members, third parties, actual or potential customers or suppliers, or government officials or their employees.
Special care should be taken with respect to gifts and hospitality to government officials. What is acceptable for a business person might be perceived as a bribe to a government worker.
VMS employees are reminded that a sample from a customer or supplier is VMS’s property and is not for personal use or profit.
Rules with respect to gifts
VMS employees may offer, give or accept gifts with a value not exceeding $200 AUD (or equivalent) subject to the following conditions:
- There is a justifiable business purpose
- There is no regular pattern of gift giving, and
- The gifts are not illegal or unethical
VMS employees must never offer, give or accept:
- Gifts which may be perceived to be designed to obligate, induce, support or reward improper conduct in connection with any business or future business, or
- Cash gifts
VMS employees must obtain guidance and prior approval of the local HR manager in respect of:
- Any gift or promotional item with a value that is or seems greater than $200 AUD per person;
- Gifts or promotional items with a cumulative value that is or seems greater than $200 AUD per person over a 12-month period, and
- Any gifts or favours to a government official or employee
Rules with respect to hospitality and entertainment
Provided that there is a justifiable business purpose, VMS employees may offer or accept:
- Working meals, if the work performed is proximate to a supplier or third-party facility and passes the common-sense test for reasonable behaviour in a business environment, or
- Tickets to sport or entertainment events, if they pass the common-sense test for reasonable behaviour in a business environment and the relevant VMS employee attends such event with the business partner
VMS employees must never offer or accept, in any circumstance:
- Hospitality or entertainment which may be perceived to be designed to obligate, induce, support or reward improper conduct in connection with any business or future business
- Entertainment from or to present to potential suppliers and customers, unless:
- it is a multi- customer/supplier event, taking place in a professional environment; and
- it does not, or does not appear to, influence purchasing decisions, create a conflict of interest or violate rules or proprietary exchanges of information
VMS employees must seek guidance and prior approval from the local HR manager in respect of:
- Any hospitality or entertainment of a nominal or perceived value above $200 AUD per person
- Hospitality or entertainment with a cumulative nominal or perceived value above $200 AUD over a 12-month period per person, and
- Any hospitality or entertainment provided to a public official or employee
Reporting and authorization
Any accepted gift or promotional item with a value greater than $200 AUD should be politely returned and reported to your direct manager or the local HR manager. If the item cannot be returned, it must be turned over to VMS. The gift can then be given to a charitable organisation.
VMS employees who know that they will receive a gift with a value exceeding $200 AUD must suggest that, instead of a gift, a donation be made to a charity. The employee should then notify their direct manager or the local HR manager.
VMS employees who receive an unexpected gift or hospitality which appears to be disproportionate, or who believes there is a hidden intent behind it, must declare the item to their direct manager or to the local HR manager.
In some countries, local customs encourage the exchange of gifts under certain circumstances. In these cases, the employee should submit a request to local HR asking for an exemption. Such requests must specify the employee’s understanding of the country’s customs and the proposed rules for gift giving and receiving, including the occasions on which such gifts may be exchanged and the AUD equivalent value of such gifts. The local HR manager will consult with Group legal counsel.
If approved, the local HR manager may inform any other concerned employees of such cultural customs and allow the exchange of gifts on an exceptional basis.
Some sample situations
- Business discussions held at lunch or dinner are acceptable
- It is permissible to give away plaques, supplier awards and prizes that are part of official programs with fair, openly-published rules for competing companies.
Visual Management Systems Pty Ltd
ABN: 39 639 720 148
Melbourne: 26/50 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Sydney: Suite 149, 117 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale, NSW 2100
Brisbane: Level 10, 15 Green Square Close, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006
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Skip Hokin: 0420 363 902 (Melbourne)
Phil Obst: 0409 363 970 (Sydney)
Carl Xie: 0409 363 978 (Brisbane)
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